Radicchio salad with chicken and orange balsamic vinaigrette

This week’s Best of the Market bag to be delivered to employees at the Oakland Medical Center will contain radicchio. As there were no recipes on this site using this vegetable, I went to my current favorite cookbook for a warm one-dish radicchio and chicken salad. Joyce Goldstein’s book, mentioned last week, came through again. What I like about her recipes is that she offers many options for pairing dressings, seafood, meats, cheeses, and nuts with the produce and fruits. The primary featured radicchio salad uses orange and balsamic vinaigrette. Oranges are no longer in season at our market so I considered using one of the other vinaigrette options. But I really wanted to try it with the oranges and found some at the local grocery store. Radicchio has beautiful mottled light purple and white leaves. I found one shaped like a cabbage. The cookbook called for treviso radicchio which is shaped more like romaine. It has a somewhat distinctive bitter flavor so the dressing is best if it is a bit sweet. She uses the term “agrodolce” which means sweet and sour. Radicchio is more a little bitter than sour but you get the idea. The sweetness of the dressing depends on the oranges. Buy sweet tasting ones or use some honey in the finished dressing. Her salad used golden raisins plumped in sherry or Marsala. I didn’t have either of these ingredients so I just used dark plump flame raisins from the Lone Oak Ranch, a vendor at our market for over five years.

Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 2-3 heads of either kind of radicchio, cut into 1 inch wide strips, washed, drained, and dried
  • 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced into ½ inch thick strips
  • 2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted in a skillet
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • Dressing
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 4 Tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 2 Tablespoons orange zest (the fine holes in a box grater work fine for this if you don’t have a zester. I have been known to just slice off thin strips of the peel and mince it very finely)
  • 2/3 cup (10 2/3 Tablespoons) olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • (Honey to taste if the orange isn’t very sweet --- it helps to balance the flavor of the radicchio)

Directions

Whisk all the dressing ingredients together. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the chicken strips. Season them with salt and pepper. Cook them for about five minutes before turning them over. After about 3-4 more minutes add the pine nuts, raisins, and about ½ cup of the dressing (you can save the rest for another meal). Warm the dressing for about a minute. “Pour” the contents of the skillet over the radicchio artfully on a big serving platter. This simple and quick dinner was really good.

Nutrition Information (per serving)

  • (made with 1/2 cup of the dressing recipe)
  • Calories: 353
  • Fat: 23 gm
  • Saturated fat: 3 gm
  • Trans fat: 0 gm
  • Cholesterol: 66 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 6 gm
  • Fiber: 1 gm
  • Sodium: 170 mg
  • Protein: 29 gm

Contributor

Preston Maring, MD

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